Dominguez tells DOF, attached agencies to prepare back-to-office plans

Robie de Guzman   •   October 22, 2021   •   317

MANILA, Philippines ­– Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has ordered the department and its attached agencies and state corporations to prepare their respective plans on transitioning work back to their respective offices.

In a statement, the DOF said Dominguez has emphasized that the back-to-office plans should strictly adhere to health and safety protocols being implemented against COVID-19.

The order comes after more than a year of shifting to work-from-home (WFH) arrangements because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it added.

Dominguez said that as more government employees get fully vaccinated, the DOF and its agencies such as the Bureaus of Customs (BOC), of Internal Revenue (BIR), of Local Government Finance (BLGF) and of the Treasury (BTr); Insurance Commission (IC), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and other attached organizations should gradually shift to working normally in their respective offices.

The transition plans, Dominguez said, should include testing protocols for employees and their immediate families, and seminars to educate them on how to return safely to full-time office work.

“I think that we should already have a plan for transitioning back into working normally. In other words, back-to-office work,” Dominguez said during a recent executive committee (Execom) meeting.

“I’d like everybody to start working on this plan already assuming that we’re going to have to live with this virus,” he added.

The Interagency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has yet to allow the full transition to back-to-office arrangements with the National Capital Region (NCR) now under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with Alert Level 3 status.

The DOF said that 76.6 percent of its employees have been fully vaccinated, as of October 8.

Robredo pays tribute to Baguio City frontliners

Maris Federez   •   December 6, 2021

Presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday (December 6) led the recognition of frontliners in Baguio City who relentlessly give their service to the community amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am giving tribute to the men and women who fought the pandemic. I am giving tribute to all those who worked behind all the successes that Baguio achieved over the years,” Robredo said.

“Alam ko na kayo ang isa sa mga best performing LGUs in our battle against the pandemic particularly on contact tracing with Mayor Benjamin Magalong in the frontline,” she added.

Robredo said that the main goal of her visit is to thank her supporters in the province who gave her a warm welcome despite the cold weather.

Robredo then visited the Good Shepherd Convent to lead the opening of the Leni-Kiko Headquarters. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent John Paul Alvarado)

Corporate parties sa COVID Alert Level 2 areas limitado lang sa 50% capacity – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   December 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Nagpaalala ang Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) sa publiko na limitado lang sa 50% ng venue capacity ang bilang ng mga pinapayagang lumahok sa corporate gatherings ngayong holiday season.

Ayon kay DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, alinsunod ito sa patakarang ipinatutupad ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases para sa mga lugar na nasa COVID-19 Alert Level 2.

“Kung nasa alert level 2 po ang isang lugar, ang mga ganiyang klaseng christmas parties is 50% capacity of the venue and plus 10% of the venue, if may safety seal ang lugar na iyon,” ani Malaya.

“Aside from the venue capacity ay kailangan pong sumunod sa minimum public health standards. Kailangan pong naka-face mask at may social distancing,” dagdag pa niya.

Nasa Alert Level 2 ang buong Pilipinas dahil sa patuloy na pagbaba ng kaso ng COVID-19.

Babala ng DILG, maaaring masuspindi ang operasyon ng isang establisimyento na ginawaran ng safety seal kapag lumabag sa patakaran.

“Kung hindi po susunod ang mga establishment na magiging host nitong chistmas parties na ito, pwede pong i-revoke ang safety seal nila o kaya isuspinde ang kanilang business permit for failing to follow IATF rules and regulations,” ani Malaya.

Samantala, inirerekomenda naman ng Department of Health (DOH) na gawin sa outdoor venues ang salu-salo o pagtitipon ngayong holiday season upang maiwasan ang hawaan ng COVID-19.

Ayon sa DOH, mas malaki ang tiyansa’ng magkaroon ng hawaan sa mga kulob na lugar at walang maayos na bentilasyon.

Dapat ring seguruhing may hand sanitizing area sa venue at nasusunod ang protocol sa pagsusuot ng face mask at physical distancing.

Mas mainam ring gawin na lamang online ang selebrasyon upang maiwasan ang direct contact at posibleng exposure sa COVID-19. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aileen Cerrudo)

DOH: Philippines now classified at minimal risk for COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   December 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines ­– The whole of the Philippines is now classified at minimal risk for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Department of Health (DOH) said on Monday.

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said most of the regions in the country have showed decreased average daily attack rate compared with previous weeks.

“Nationally, we remain at minimal risk case classification with a negative two-week growth rate at negative 57% and a low risk average daily attack rate at point 67 cases for every 100,000 individuals,” Vergeire said in a press briefing.

“The National health systems capacity is at low risk. All regions showed decrease in average daily attack rates compared to the previous 3-4 weeks and remained at minimal to low risk case classification,” she added.

Vergeire noted that from the more than 900 average daily cases from November 22 to 29, it declined to an average of 544 per day nationwide.

She said this is lower than the figure recorded in August 2020 and April 2021 when the Philippines reached the peak of cases.

The National Capital Region also remains at low-risk classification with 112 average daily cases recorded from November 29 to December 5.

Death cases also decreased to three during the period of December 1 to 5.

Vergeire said infection rates in most of the regions have been steadily declining compared with previous weeks.

But she urged the public not to be complacent especially during this time when some people gather to celebrate the holiday season.

Vergeire said the public should continue adhering to health protocols as the threat of COVID-19 remains. (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

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